Servite escapes with win over St. John Bosco


The eighth-ranked Servite boys volleyball team went into survival mode late in the second set of Thursday’s Trinity League match against St. John Bosco and escaped unscathed.

After winning the opening set against St. John Bosco, the Friars were on the verge of dropping the second set as they trailed, 24-18.

Servite managed to do a little bit of everything to claw back to tie the set at 24-24 and eventually seized set point on a block from Grant Mooney and Micah Woolley cemented the comeback with a kill.

The Friars (12-9, 2-0) carried that momentum into the third set and completed the sweep of the host Braves, 25-17, 26-24, 25-19.

“These guys have a lot of character and they play pretty hard all the way to the end and what we really talked about was worrying about one point at a time,” Servite coach Matt Marrujo said. “We knew we had a one game lead at that point, so we needed to get ourselves playing right and we played well there at the end.”

The Friars used another late charge in the third set. After leading 13-10, the Braves (7-5, 0-2) scored six consecutive points, highlighted by a pair of aces from Matthew Donatucci for a 16-13 lead.

Later, trailing 17-14, Servite scored six consecutive points to take control of the set.

“Everything starts with the bench, they’re our heart,” senior opposite Derek Lau said. “We were struggling, but we get all of our energy from them. We need every single player to pull out these wins.”

Matthew Johnson and Woolley led the Friars with 10 kills. Lau added six. Mooney had 23 assists.

After struggling through league play last season, Servite has started this season on the right foot and plans on being a factor in the chase for the league title.

Lau points to the team’s chemistry as a key reason for the improvement.

“Since summer, we knew we had a good team and we all have the same goals,” he said. “Now this is where we are 2-0.”

The teams will meet again April 23 at Servite.

In the Sea View League

Aliso Niguel 3, Mission Viejo 0: JJ Jelnick led the Wolverines (14-3, 1-0) with 11 kills and Jack Schubert added eight in the 25-15, 25-15, 25-19, home victory. Christian Hickey added six kills. Brody Earnest had 32 assists.

In the Crestview League

Esperanza 3, El Dorado 1: Garrett Pyatt’s 23 kills led the visiting Aztecs (11-6, 1-0) in the 25-16, 23-25, 30-28, 29-27 victory. Kevin Sowski and Garrett Geigor had 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

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